Favorite Quotations

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At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents.
       Jane D. Hull  (Former elementary school teacher; former Governor of the State of Arizona)

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.
       Robert Heinlein  (American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
       Stephen McCranie

It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
       Henry David Thoreau

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts, of life are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
       Henry David Thoreau

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
       Henry David Thoreau

In the long run men hit only what they aim at.
       Henry David Thoreau

The man who travels alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
       Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
       Henry David Thoreau

Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.
       Henry David Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
       Henry David Thoreau

To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning.
       Henry David Thoreau

To be awake is to be alive.
       Henry David Thoreau

I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
       Henry David Thoreau

It takes two to speak the truth -
one to speak, and another to hear.
       Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.
       Henry David Thoreau

The frontiers are not east or west, north or south, but wherever a man fronts a fact.
       Henry David Thoreau

The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.
       Henry David Thoreau
       Journal [7/14/1852]

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
       Henry David Thoreau
       Journal [Nov 11, 1854]

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
       Henry David Thoreau
       Journal [March 11, 1856]

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
       Henry David Thoreau

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather, indicates, his fate.
       Henry David Thoreau

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
       Henry David Thoreau

She understood how much louder a cock can crow in its own farmyard than elsewhere.
       Anthony Trollope

Nothing reopens the springs of love so fully as absence, and no absence so thoroughly as that which must needs be endless.
       Anthony Trollope

We live in deeds, not years, in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most - Feels the noblest - acts the best.
       Philip James Bailey

There is no disappointment we endure
One half so great as that we are to ourselves.
       Philip James Bailey

How sweet and gracious, even in common speech,
Is that fine sense which men call courtesy!
       Courtesy, James Thomas Fields

In battle or business, whatever the game,
In law or in love, it is ever the same;
In the struggle for power, or the scramble for pelf,
Let this be your motto - Rely on yourself!
For, whether the prize be a ribbon or throne,
The victor is he who can go it alone!
       The Game of Life, John Godfrey Saxe

A man must take the fat with the lean.

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice.

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said: "It is just as I feared!
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren
Have all built their nests in my beard."
       Book of Nonsense [1846]
       Limerick: Edward Lear

The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its efforts, but help from within invariably invigorates.
       Self-Help [1859] Samuel Smiles

The stability of the internal medium is a primary condition for the freedom and independence of certain living bodies in relation to the environment surrounding them.
       Claude Bernard

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
       Soren Kierkegaard

A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep;
Where the scattered waters rave,
And the winds their revels keep!
       A Life on the Ocean Wave [1847] Epes Sargent

A conquering army on the border will not be halted by the power of eloquence.
       Otto Von Bismarck

Those who offend us are generally punished for the offense they give; but we so frequently miss the satisfaction of knowing that we are avenged!
       Anthony Trollope

'Twas a thief said the last kind word to Christ:
Christ took the kindness and forgave the theft.
       Robert Browning

You never know what life means till you die:
Even throughout life, 'tis death that makes life live,
Gives it whatever the significance.
       Robert Browning

A man in armor is his armor's slave.
       Robert Browning

The truth was felt by instinct here,
- Process which saves a world of trouble and time.
       Robert Browning

Ignorance is not innocence but sin.
       Robert Browning

Good, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
       La Saisiaz [1877] Robert Browning

As if true pride
Were not also humble!
       Lines written in an album [1882] Robert Browning

A minute's success pays the failure of years.
       Robert Browning

Keep yourself to yourself.
       Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens

He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two.
       Charles Dickens

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature.
       Charles Dickens

"There are strings," said Mr. Tappertit, "in the human heart that had better not be wibrated."
       Charles Dickens

Keep up appearances whatever you do.
       Charles Dickens

I wear the chain I forged in life.
       A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

She had
A heart - how shall I say? - too soon
made glad.
       "My Last Duchess"(1842)L21 - Robert Browning

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heart for?
       Andrea del Santo (1855)L97 Robert Browning

God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures
Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with,
One to show a woman when he loves her.
       Robert Browning

Measure your mind's height by the shadow it casts!
       Robert Browning

Every joy is gain
And gain is gain, however small.
       Robert Browning

Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a riband to stick in his coat
       The Lost Leader [1845] st.1,Robert Browning
       [often assumed to refer to Wordsworth]

If two lives join, there is often a scar.
They are one and one, with a shadowy third;
One near one is too far.
       By the Fireside, Robert Browning, st46

To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall
And baffled, get up and begin again.
       Robert Browning

One wise man's verdict outweighs all the fools.
       Robert Browning

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made
Our times are in his hand.
       Robert Browning

What I aspire to be,
And was not, comforts me.
       Robert Browning

Progress, man's distinctive mark alone,
Not God's, and not the beasts': God is, they are;
Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be.
       Robert Browning

There's a sucker born every minute.
       Phineas Taylor Barnum (attributed)

I'll not listen to reason.... Reason always means what someone else has got to say.
       Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.
       My Symphony William Henry Channing

Doubt, if you will, the being who loves you,
Woman or dog, but never doubt love itself.
       Alfred De Musset

How glorious it is - and also how painful - to be an exception.
       Alfred De Musset

Man never falls so low that he can see nothing higher than himself.
       Theodore Parker

Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
       "Of Discretion" Martin Farquhar Tupper

A widow of doubtful age will marry almost any sort of white man.
       Horace Greeley

We live under a government of men and morning newspapers.
       Wendell Phillips

Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through the moods, the blood, the disposition of the spectator.
       Wendell Phillips

I should like to see any kind of a man, distinguishable from a gorilla, that some good and even pretty woman could not shape a husband out of.
       Oliver Wendell Holmes

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.
       Willaim Makepeace Thackeray

Like glimpses of forgotten dreams.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly longed for death.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
These three alone lead life to sovereign power.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith more than Norman blood.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

God gives us Love. Something to Love
He lends us; but when love is grown
To ripeness, that on which it throve
Falls off, and love is left alone.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use,
As though to breathe were life!
       "Ulysses"[1842] Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The greater the man the greater the courtesy.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The vow that binds too quickly snaps itself.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

For courtesy wins woman all as well
As valor may.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He said likewise
That a lie which is half a truth is ever
the blackest of lies,
That a lie which is all a lie may be met
and fought with outright,
But a lie which is part a truth is a
harder matter to fight.
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
       Herbert Spencer
       "State Tampering with Money Banks"

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eye off the goal.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts.
       Winston Churchill

Tough times never last.
Tough people always do.

Knowledge breeds doubt, not certainty,
And the more we know the more uncertain we become.
       A.J.P. Taylor

Having the courage of one's convictions is a very popular error; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions.
       Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

An error is the more dangerous the more truth it contains.
       Henri-Frederic Amiel

There can be no defense like elaborate courtesy.
       Edward Verrall Lucas

The most decisive actions of our life
... are most often unconsidered actions.
       Andre Gide

One must separate from anything that forces one to repeat No again and again.
       Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Life always gets harder toward the summit - the cold increases, responsibility increases.
       Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring. Thus with seamen: he who goes the oftenest round Cape Horn goes the most circumspectly.
       Herman Melville

The test of a first-intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
       F. Scott Fitzgerald

All the business of war, and all the business of life, is to endeavor to find out what you don't from what you do.
       The Duke of Wellington

With curious art the brain,
     too finely wrought
Preys on herself,
     and is destroyed by thought.
       Charles Churchill

Pardon one offense, and you encourage the commission of many.
       Publilius Syrus
       Maxim 750

One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.
       Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
       Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

     i have noticed that when chickens quit
quarreling over their food they often find that
there is enough for all of them I wonder if it
might not be the same with the human race.
       Donald Robert Perry Marquis

We never do anything well
Till we cease to think about
The manner of doing it.
       William Hazlitt

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
       Henry Brooks Adams

Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you donít win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.
       Richard Nixon - Aug. 9, 1974
       Farewell speech -East Room of the White House

You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership.
       Dwight D. Eisenhower

Don't tell me the sky's the limit
There's footprints on the moon
       Artist: Brandt Paul
       Song: There's A World Out There
       Album: That's The Truth

When a thought takes one's breath away, a lesson on grammar seems an impertinence.
       Thomas Wentworth Higginson
       Preface to Emily Dickinson's Poems, first series [1890]

There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
       Edmund Burke

If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock..
       Arthur J. Goldberg

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
       Elie Wiesel

An unlearned carpenter of my acquaintance once said in my hearing: "There is very little difference between one man and another; but what little there is, is very important." This distinction seems to me to go to the root of the matter.
       William James

When crew and captain understand
      each other to the core,
It takes a gale and more than a gale
     to put their ship ashore.
       Rudyard Kipling

The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.
       Marcus Aurelius

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
       Brad Meltzer

If you think you're too small to be effective,
you've never been in bed with a mosquito.
       Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop

I cannot give you the formula for success but I can give you the formula for failure - which is: Try to please everybody.
       Herbert Bayard Swope
       American journalist (1882-1958)

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
       Friedrich Nietzsche

Keep strong, if possible. In any case, keep cool. Have unlimited patience. Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save his face. Put yourself in his shoes - so as to see things through his eyes. Avoid self-righteousness like the devil - nothing so self-binding.
       Basil Henry Liddell Hart   (1895-1970)
       "Deterrent or Defense [1960] Advice to Statesmen"
       British Military Authority

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
       Abraham Lincoln

One of the reasons mature people are apt to learn less than young people is that they are willing to risk less. Learning is a risky business, and they do not like failure. In infancy, when children are learning at a phenomenal rate - a rate they will never again achieve - they are also experiencing a great many failures. Watch them. See the innumerable times they try and fail. See how little the failures discourage them. With each year that passes they will be less blithe about failure. By adolescence the willingness of young people to risk failure has diminished greatly. And all too often parents push them further along that road by instilling fear, by punishing failure or by making success seem too precious.

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure - all your life. It's as simple as that.

       John W. Gardner: Self Renewal - The Individual and the Innovative Society

Do not worry
Eat three square meals a day
Say your prayers
Be courteous to your creditors
Keep your digestion good
Steer clear of biliousness
Exercise, go slow and easy

Maybe there are other
things that your special
case requires to make
you happy but my friend
I recon
will give you a good life.

Abraham Lincoln 1860

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